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Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Welcome, travellers.

I decided to wrote my review in English, so here’s the translation.

For my first post in my blog I decided to talk about the new adult book written by Leigh Bardugo, Ninth House.

If you don’t know her, here’s a small introduction.

Leigh Bardugo (@Lbardugo on Twitter and Lbardugo on Instagram) was born in Jerusalem, grew up in California and graduated in Yale in 1997 with a degree in English. She lives and writes in Los Angeles and she’s a young adult and fantasy bestseller author, most know for the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. She also wrote short stories. The Grishaverse saga (Shadow and Bone and Six of crows) will be adapted by Neflix and will be called Shadow and Bone. Leigh Bardugo revealed the main cast on 2nd October on her Twitter page.

After this small introduction I wanted to talk about the book of the moment, at least in my opinion. Ninth House was published on 8th October by Flatiron Books (ISBN1250313074, ISBN13:9781250313072) and after only two days Amazon Studios won the right to Leigh Bardugo to developed a TV Series and the author will write the adaption and be the executive producer. https://deadline.com/2019/10/grishaverse-authorleigh-bardugo-ninth-house-amazon-studios-tv-series-development-1202756743/

THE PLOT

Ninth House is set in Yale, Bardugo’s alma mater and the main character is Galaxy “Alex” Stern, with a misterious and complex past and an unlikely member of the Yale freshman class. Raised by an hippie mother, Alex droppped out the school and got involved in the shady world of her drug dealer boyfriend and a twenty years old she finds herself the sole survivor of an horrific and unsolved multiple murder. She offered a second chance by the Yale dean Sandow, the opportunity to attend the university. But why her? Where’s the catch? Sandow asked her to be part of the misterious Lethe, a secret society that supervise the magical activities of the other Ancient Eight. The murder of a young town girl ruined what should have been a new beginning for Alex and she feels the need to investigate, ignoring the half truths and explanations of the police and the campus’ administration. Looking for answer, Alex discovers a big and complex plot, much dangerous she could ever have thought.

I found Ninth House one of the best book I’ve ever have read in a long time. Defined by Stephen King as “impossible to put down”, Ninth House is a wonderful book and the reader is pushed to devour it, because there’s the need to know what will happen, what’s going on, to read chapter after chapter. At the same time, though, it’s a book that should be tasted slowly, like a fine wine or a delicious dinner. Leigh Bardugo’s writing style, appreciated in all her books, is engaging and pushes the reader in a new and different world, that he/she will miss after reading the last page. Alex Stern, the main character, has a peculiar power (or curse) and because of that power Lethe, the mysterious Ninth House, become interested in her. She can see ghosts, called Grays, and her ability makes her perfect to supervise the occult activities of the other eight societies. Leigh Bardugo imagined how each of the eight societies, that have yielded some of the most important people in the world, actors, politicitians and so on, practices a different kind of magic. I don’t wanna reveal too much (discovering and reading the different rituals was absolutely interesting and brilliant), I’ll say that Skull and Bones practises divination using human and animal entrails. The Ninth House has to supervise their rituals and so Alex gets involved in a world full of magic, Latins, magic objects and mysteries. Ninth House is constructed in a peculiar way, almost like a puzzle. Almost each chapter (that takes its name from the season when the plot unfolds, like Early Spring, Winter and Last Fall) swings from past and present, building the whole plot, bit by bit. Since the prologue the reader is pushed in a world when he/she doesn’t know and understand anything, who’s the main character, why is she’s hurt and so on. Chapter after chapter, discovery after discovery, the reader gets to know Alex’s past and the mystery surrounding the young woman killed in the campus, mystery intertwined with the disappeareance of Alex’s mentor, Darlington, missing since a failed inspection. Piece by piece we get to know Alex and Darlington, Alex’s roomates, rituals, Lethe’s story and we follow the main character in her investigation, since she thinks Tara Hutchins’ murder isn’t simple as appears.I won’t write anything more about the plot, because Ninth House is a book that deserved to be experienced. The plot is full of twists and discoveries and it has captivating and interesting characters. It’s an adult fantasy book, a journey in a world where magic is connected to the college and the reality. It was really interesting reading about the different rituals and to know the character’s past. I felt so connected to Darlington, in his curiosity and magic’s attraction. I really can’t wait to dive again in Alex and Darlington’s world.

I want to end my review highlighting that Ninth House is not a book for young people, or at least, they should read its trigger warnings, because there could be something that could upset them:

  • rape
  • sexual assault under the influence of a magical drug
  • drugs
  • child rape
  • overdose
  • death
  • gore
  • blackmail
  • self-harm
  • forced consuption of human waste

In my personal opinion I found the trigger warnings counter-productive (after reading them on Twitter), because I felt more anxious knowing there would have been a determined situation and it would have been better not knowing anything. But this is only my personal opinion.

Ninth House, in any case, surprised me, more than I could even imagine it would. It kept me on edge, it made me jump, laugh and cry and it involved me a lot. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

Autore:

What you should know about me is: I'm in love with books. I love diving in them, living my heroine's and heroes' adventure, discovering new worlds and characters. I've always loved reading and writing. The idea of creating is thrilling and scary at the same time. 'I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still."

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